Former Interior Minister Rehman Malik takes Cynthia Ritchie case to Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister Rehman Malik on Monday approached the Supreme Court (SC), requesting to set aside the order passed by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) allowing the writ petition of US blogger Cynthia D Ritchie.

The IHC had earlier this month referred the matter of registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against the PPP leader in a rape case to the Justice of Peace for review.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Nasir Javed Rana had dismissed a petition filed by the American national under sections 22-A and 22-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (CrPC), seeking court’s directive for the registeration of a criminal case against Rehman Malik.

Urging the apex court to grant leave to appeal under Article 185(3) of the Constitution against the impugned order of IHC dated September 1, 2020, allowing the writ petition of US blogger, Malik also requested the court to set the impugned order and restore the order passed by the Justice of Peace.

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IHC stays interior ministry’s deportation orders for Cynthia Ritchie

IHC CJ Justice Athar Minallah has also sought replies from Home Ministry, DG Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and other parties on Cynthia’s case 

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday stayed an Interior Ministry decision to turn down a visa extension application filed by US blogger Cynthia D. Ritchie.

Ritchie had petitioned the IHC on Saturday, challenging the interior ministry’s decision to deny her an extension and ordering her to leave the country within 15 days.

In the petition, the US national has nominated the interior secretary, deputy secretary and the director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as respondents to the case. 

She has argued that she fulfilled all legal obligations required of her in her visa application to ensure her continued stay in Pakistan, yet was turned down without explanation.

After hearing her arguments, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah stopped the Interior Ministry from deporting Ritchie and issued notices to the home ministry, the DG FIA and others.

The court also ordered the blogger to submit an affidavit detailing her allegations in the document.

“Visas of Pakistanis are denied every day and no reason is provided,” Justice Minallah remarked. He assured that the petitioner gets complete justice in the case.

Read more: Cynthia moves IHC against interior ministry’s decision to reject visa extension

The ministry, in an earlier response to the IHC, had stated that the American citizen’s visa had been extended twice during 2018-19 against the law.

It had mentioned that the blogger had applied for an extension in her work visa twice, but was instead given a business visa by the authority against the visa policy even though her company was not registered in Pakistan.

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In response to IHC, interior ministry says Cynthia Ritchie must be stopped from making controversial statements

The response comes after the IHC expressed displeasure over the ministry’s comments at the previous hearing. — Geo.tv/Files 

ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry on Friday submitted its comments to the Islamabad High Court in Cynthia D Ritchie’s case, stating that the American blogger should be stopped from making controversial statements that go against the basic rights of citizens.

The response comes after the IHC expressed displeasure over the ministry’s comments at the previous hearing, instructing it to provide relevant records of its business visa policy.

In its response to the IHC today, the ministry stated that the American citizen’s visa had been extended twice during 2018-19 which was against the law.

It mentioned that the blogger had applied for her work visa extension two times, but she was given a business visa by the authority against the visa policy, adding that her company was not registered in Pakistan either.

The ministry, on Wednesday, had rejected Ritchie’s visa extension application and asked her to exit the country within 15 days.

IHC expresses displeasure

In Tuesday’s hearing, the additional attorney general informed the court that the American blogger had told the ministry she was not associated with any government institution.

Responding to the AAG’s comments, Chief Justice Athar Minallah noted that previously the ministry had adopted the stance that the blogger had been serving government institutions.

Justice Minallah said that the ministry had not adopted a clear stance so far in the matter.

Expressing displeasure with the representative of the interior ministry, the judge asked: “Is there any law or policy?”, questioning whether the ministry had any documents which explain the visa policy for foreigners.

The court asked whether the same treatment would be given to someone who would come tomorrow on a business visa and start giving statements against the prime minister.

The court ordered the ministry to bring details of the policy in the next hearing.

Moreover, it ordered Ritchie to stop making any controversial statements against politicians.

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